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Santander is number one choice for current account switchers

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Santander was the most popular choice for customers switching current accounts last year, figures reveal.

Four high street banking giants lost more than a quarter of a million switchers between them in 2014, according to analysis by Andrew Hagger of Moneycomms.

Barclays was down 98,400, NatWest down 71,040, HSBC down 44,953 and Lloyds Bank down 45,119.

By contrast Santander saw a net gain of 186,183 in the same 12 month period. Hagger said this was partly down to rock bottom savings rates and the attractive interest rate of 3% paid on current account credit balances between £3,000 and £20,000.

Halifax ended up in second place with an extra 150,401 switchers in 2014 with the £100 introductory switching payment and £5 monthly reward (if always in credit) proving to be a powerful lure, Hagger said.

New research this week from Aimia the marketing and loyalty analysts revealed that 33% of people pointed to loyalty rewards as the biggest influencers when choosing a current account.

This marries up with the latest Bacs switching statistics where Halifax (£5 monthly reward) and Santander (cashback on utilities and up to 3% credit interest) are both beating the competition hands down.

Nationwide Building Society and Tesco Bank the only other providers reporting steady growth – up 37,305 and 4,484 switchers respectively in 2014 (note Tesco Bank figs are only for last 6 months of 2014).

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